Toyota Camry Transmission Problems

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The Toyota Camry is a midsize car in production since 1982. Known for its reliability and fuel efficiency, it has been one of the best-selling cars in the United States for many years.

The Camry is available in various trim levels and configurations, including a hybrid version, and offers a comfortable and spacious interior.

Regardless of the trim level you choose, there is no denying that the Camry has had its fair share of issues.

Even the car’s diehard fans will agree that the transmission of this sedan is far from normal. It has been a source of complaint for many consumers.

So, the question arises, how can one find out the Toyota Camry transmission problems?

You are in luck! There are several ways of doing so. As you can see, a faulty transmission exhibits some symptoms.

They may vary but some of the common symptoms are:

  1. Delays When Shifting
  2. Shaking When Driving
  3. Burning Smell
  4. Whistling Noises From Under The Hood
  5. Reverse Not Engaging
  6. Leaping During Acceleration
  7. Gears Slipping
  8. Vehicle Stalling

These symptoms almost guarantee that your Toyota vehicle has transmission issues.

Before you head down to the mechanic, you need to learn more about these signs to understanding exactly what went wrong.

8 Signs Of Transmission Problems In A Toyota Camry

Read my Toyota Camry transmission troubleshooting guide

You may think that learning about the source of the signs listed will be useless. Well, that is incorrect!

You can learn from your mistakes and possibly save yourself from being scammed by a mechanic, who may exaggerate the issue and charge you more!

1. Delays When Shifting

If you are experiencing shifting delays in your Toyota Camry, there could be several causes. One possible reason is extreme temperature.

Cold weather can cause delays in engagement, but if the problem only occurs in cold weather and not when it’s warm, then that is normal because the transmission fluid has become too thick.

Another potential cause is worn seals inside the transmission.

Over time, these seals can become worn and lead to other transmission components wearing down faster, which can cause this issue.

The shift solenoids, which control fluid flow through the transmission, can also cause shifting delays if they fail.

Lastly, clogged transmission filters or malfunctioning pumps can lead to a drop in the pressure of the transmission fluid, leading gears not changing in time.

2. Shaking When Driving

A low transmission fluid level in your Toyota Camry can lead to several problems. One of the most noticeable symptoms is a shaking sensation while accelerating.

This is caused by the transmission not receiving enough fluid to operate correctly. The shaking can range from mild to severe, depending on the fluid level.

A leak in the transmission system can also cause low transmission fluid levels, ultimately leading to transmission shaking.

This can happen for various reasons, such as a damaged seal or a hole in the transmission pan. Once the transmission fluid leaks, it can lead to more serious damage.

All in all, when the transmission shakes, the issue is not too serious to worry about but it must be tended to promptly so it does not escalate.

3. Burning Smell

A burning smell coming from your Toyota Camry could be an indication of a transmission issue.

One of the main functions of the transmission fluid is to keep the moving parts lubricated and cool.

If the fluid level is low, the transmission may overheat, leading to a burning smell.

The smell could also be caused by a leak in the transmission system, which can lead to the fluid dripping on the radiator.

The smell of burning, of either the transmission or the fluid, is pretty easily distinguishable. You should stop the car when this happens, so further damage cannot be done.

A burning smell can also be due to crossed wires, so you must be open to other causes of the issue.

4. Whistling Noises From Under the Hood

A potential issue you may encounter while operating your Toyota Camry is a whining noise from the transmission.

Identifying the cause can be difficult as there are various possibilities. However, there are a few things you can check for if you hear this noise.

If the whining sound becomes more pronounced when the car is in reverse, it may indicate that the transmission fluid line is blocked.

If the whining noise persists while the car is in gear, it could indicate a problem with the torque converter.

To verify this, try shifting the car to park or neutral to see if the noise subsides.

This is a serious issue and can indicate the start of major problems with your Toyota Camry’s transmission.

5. Reverse Not Engaging

A malfunctioning transmission can present several symptoms, one of which is the inability to shift into reverse gear on a Toyota Camry.

This can be caused by a low transmission fluid level, leading to other issues, such as fluctuating shifting, overheating, or stalling.

Another reason which may lead to the transmission not entering the reverse gear could be a bad transmission selector switch.

This can often be confirmed by checking the car’s diagnostic codes after plugging in a scanner in the OBDII port.

A damaged reverse gear is not common in automatic transmissions, but it can happen due to the improper use of gears in manual transmission vehicles, resulting in the grinding of gears and transmission failure.

6. Leaping During Acceleration

Jerking during acceleration in a Toyota Camry can be caused by several factors.

One possible cause is a malfunctioning Transmission Control Module regulating the transmission’s gear changes.

If the module is not functioning correctly, it can cause the transmission to shift abruptly, leading to jerking during acceleration.

Another possible cause is a worn-out accelerator cable. The cable is responsible for opening the throttle enough to allow enough fuel into the engine.

If the cable is worn, it may not open the throttle enough, causing the engine to hesitate and leading to jerking during acceleration.

This may not always be a transmission issue, but there is a good chance that it may be the source.

Keep your eye peeled out for all sorts of possibilities when something like this happens.

7. Gears Slipping

Transmission slips can occur in a Toyota Camry’s manual and automatic transmissions.

In a Toyota with a manual transmission, the culprit is usually a worn-out clutch, especially if it has been used for a long time.

When the clutch wears out, it can no longer properly transfer power from the engine to the transmission, causing it to slip.

If your Camry has an automatic transmission, then slipping can be caused by various issues, such as worn or damaged clutch plates, transmission bands, or even solenoid packs.

These parts can wear out over time, causing the transmission to slip.

Additionally, it’s worth noting that low or broken-down transmission fluid can also cause or exacerbate transmission problems, including slipping.

8. Vehicle Stalling

Several factors can cause vehicle stalling in a Toyota Camry, one of which is clutch release problems, which only occur in manual transmission vehicles.

This issue happens when the driver takes their foot off the clutch while the vehicle is in gear without giving it any gas or trying to shift into a gear that the RPMs don’t support.

This can cause the engine to stall. Yes, this may be due to user error rather than being fishy from the transmission itself.

However, if the Camry has an automatic transmission, the culprit is probably a torque converter.

It may have failed, which may have led to your precious Camry stalling in the middle of the road. This can turn out to be pretty dangerous too.

Reliability Of The Toyota Camry’s Transmission Compared With Other Vehicles

The reliability of the Toyota Camry’s transmission compared with other vehicles is an important factor to consider when purchasing a car.

Data from shows that the Camry has had more transmission-related complaints than its top competitors, the Honda Accord and the Hyundai Sonata.

In the Accord case, the years with the most issues were around 2001. However, there have been relatively fewer complaints about the Sonata.

On the other hand, the Camry has had a significant number of transmission complaints every year, with more than ten reports at least for the last decade.

This data suggests that the Camry’s transmission may be less reliable than its competitors, the Honda Accord and the Hyundai Sonata.

However, it’s important to note that this data is based on consumer complaints, which may not be representative of the overall reliability of the Camry’s transmission.

It’s also important to consider that other factors, such as driving habits, maintenance, and usage, can affect the transmission’s reliability.

When considering purchasing a Toyota Camry, it’s important to research and compare the transmission reliability of the Camry with other similar models and to consider your driving habits and needs.

It’s also important to have a pre-purchase inspection and check for any transmission-related recalls or service campaigns that may have been issued for the specific model and year of the vehicle.

Warranty And Coverage Of The Toyota Camry’s Transmission

Warranty and the Toyota Camry’s transmission coverage are important considerations when purchasing a car.

Toyota also offers a powertrain warranty for the Camry, covering the transmission, engine, and other components.

The powertrain warranty covers the transmission for 60,000 miles or 60 months, whichever comes first.

It’s important to note that these warranties only cover defects in materials and workmanship and do not cover damage or issues caused by improper use or maintenance.

If a transmission issue is caused by an issue not covered by the warranty, the repairs will not be covered, and the owner will be responsible for the costs.

Moreover, it’s also worth noting that some aftermarket extended warranty options are available for purchase, which can provide additional coverage for the transmission and other related components.

They also have different terms and coverage options, so it’s important to thoroughly read and understand the terms before purchasing.

Overall, the warranty and coverage options for the Toyota Camry’s transmission provide peace of mind and protection against unexpected repairs.

It’s important to understand the terms and conditions of the warranty and to consider an extended warranty for added protection.


Which Year Did Toyota Camry Have Transmission Issues?

With the Camry being a pretty old vehicle, many models have had transmission issues.

This section will condense the information for nine models. These are best avoided, especially if you are scared of transmission problems.

2009 Toyota Camry

The 2009 model of the sedan had two main issues, although they were not widely reported.

The shift timing was irregular. There were also complaints that the transmission would fail for some users.

2010 Toyota Camry

The next model had a whole new list of problems.

The transmission would not only shift erratically but would suddenly decelerate when coasting. There was also a crunching sound being produced when speeding up.

2011 Toyota Camry

Toyota still did not test the transmission of the next model properly. It had a tendency to shift hard.

There were also reports of the system failing completely. Shifting delays were also commonly reported.

2012 Toyota Camry

Unfortunately, with this 2012 model of the sedan, the most common complaint was that the transmission would fail completely.

This is actually pretty serious. There were also many complaints about gears slipping when driving.

2013 Toyota Camry

One would expect that things would improve with newer models. Well, they would be wrong when talking about the Camry.

Although the complaints were less, the transmission would still cause issues. It would shake when driving and sometimes would refuse to shift.

2015 Toyota Camry

The transmission on the 2015 model would not shift correctly at times.

There were also reports that the torque converter would become faulty, an issue not reported with other models before it.

2016 Toyota Camry

Finally, things improved in 2016. Although the transmission would still slip, according to consumers, the number of reports were considerably less as compared to the previous models.

2018 Toyota Camry

With a brief hiatus from issues in 2017, the Camry in 2018 came back with the most complaints yet.

The transmission would shift roughly and would hesitate too. There were also complaints that the transmission would die completely.

2019 Toyota Camry

In 2019, most of the issues were resolved, but there was a new problem complained about. The transmission would jerk when at a complete stop. Other than that, this model was pretty good.



The Toyota Camry is a fantastic sedan, but it is not too far ahead of the competition. In some regards, it is actually a bit behind, especially when it comes to transmission.

However, this car is an excellent daily driver, and don’t let the Toyota Camry transmission problems scare you away from it.

Regardless of the number of reports of the issues, there is still a relatively small chance that a Camry you buy will cause similar issues.

It has been long adored by owners, and if you do buy it or have already taken the leap, then you will not regret your decision.